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How Intranet Software Helps You Build A Knowledge Base

intranet software - build a knowledge base

Intranet software adds value to your business in many ways ... including building an easily accessible, comprehensive and searchable knowledge base.

1. Capturing Knowledge

Before you can build a knowledge base, you must first be able to capture knowledge effectively.

Knowledge management is the process by which you capture, develop, share and use knowledge within a company or organization.

This can range from information contained in papers, notepads and media to electronic documents, blogs, emails. Capturing knowlege involves taking these notes and other stored information and putting it into a format where it can be easily used and accessed again.

Whether you are capturing and accessing information about hiring an employee ... or documenting knowledge about a previous solution used to solve a customer problem ... or insight gained from working with others, your company can benefit from having immediate access to this knowledge whenever needed.

Capturing knowlege and sharing it is essential to the effective growth and communication within an organization.

This also increases efficiency and productivity.

2. Increasing Collaboration

Intranet software enables teams and individuals within organizations to collaborate effectively.

Intranets accelerate knowledge capture and the process of discovery and understanding.

When employees can easily add their insight and knowledge to an existing base of knowledge accessible via a shared platform, you improve best practices and operations while speeding up productivity.

Just as consumers today increasingly use social networks to share their ideas, experiences, and opinions, businesses are also becoming more and more social. Having a social intranet enables you to leverage this natural tendency in your teams and employees and to create groups based on departments, projects, proximity, or other factors. It also encourages collaboration and brainstorming from multiple perspectives, allowing for comprehensive improvements and a thorough approach to solving any problem at hand.


intranet software - build a knowledge base

3. Removing Information Silos

Information silos can develop quickly in organizations, resulting in roadblocks, confusion, and lack of adequate information when needed to make better decisions.

Intranet software facilitates sharing of both documented knowledge with social feedback and recommendations, empowering users with access to comprehensive insight about any particular topic or area of interest. This leads the way into another topic, social knowledge management, which you can read about the benefits and how it fits into your social business strategy.

Social intranet software at the enterprise level also can assist in unlocking expertise in an organization, enabling the quick sharing of relevant information and identifying individuals with particular insight on specific topics.

Instead of having information tied up in emails or in the heads of individual employees, your organization can unlock this knowledge and share it among the entire organization with intranet software.

4. Search and Quickly Identify Knowledge

Today's employees and workers need to have access to knowledge immediately anywhere, anytime.

Real-time access empowers employees, making teams more efficient and productive, and thus resulting in a more profitable company and enterprise.

Lasting knowledge management trends include the adoption and inclusion of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as the adoption of mobile platforms. In addition, the millennial workforce has grown up in an entirely digital age, fully aware of social collaboration and used to sharing and accessing information quickly from anywhere at anytime.

Employees that interact more tend to share more information, which in turn, increases the collective knowledge base and accelerates efficiency and productivity.

Ideally, social networking technologies can be added into knowledge management systems to faciliate social sharing and interactivity.

Increased sharing also improves trust and communication. Knowledge that is shared is easier to identify, discover and retrieve. Also it saves time and effort as employees do not have to reinvent the wheel but instead can quickly add information and insight already gleaned by other members of their team. This increases efficiency and better use of your employee talent.


5. Accelerated Learning and Decision Making

Having access to a collective knowledge sharing platform speeds up the discovery and learning process and avoids repetition of tasks. It also helps employees to make better decisions as they are well equipped with sufficient knowledge.

When you use a centralized intranet platform, knowledge can be shared across departments, geographical areas and projects. In addition, all relevant information is provided in one location, within context, so it is easy to understand the thought process behind a decision, the people involved, and understand data in relationship to a specific situation or endeavor.

Companies that use intranet software have often experienced tremendous improvements in productivity, as information silos break down.

Individuals have access to comprehensive, relevant information when they need it and are empowered to make decisions faster.

6. Connecting to Relevant Experts Contextually

Every decision does not need the input of the whole team.

In fact, that can be extremely counter-productive and lead to great indecision and stalemate.

Instead, you will want to involve only relevant people on specific projects. By having a common platform to ask questions, an employee can quickly ask for help and receive assistance from the expert in that field within context.

An intranet software platform enables you to connect people within the context of their workflow. Typically, good platforms come integrated with employee directory software with rich profiles and robust searching capabilities. Contextual experiences help employees also find the information they need while they work without chasing after numerous people for a single file or waiting for feedback from another employee who is located in another country or time zone.



When you are able to search through conversations quickly and pull up all relevant information on a topic - ranging from processes and best practices to customer interactions, recent news, and employee insight - you are empowered to make better decisions for your endeavor and for your company as a whole.

Intranet software platforms also enable you to add in external data as you need to enhance and complete your information framework so that you can make good decisions in real time.

7. Relevance in Relationship to Employee Curation

The world is increasingly social and information sharing increases exponentially every year. Hence, employees need to have access to information pertinent to their endeavors without being overwhelmed by too much data or information that is irrelevant to their effort.

Beyond searching for information, employees need to be able to curate their own information.

This will improve employee engagement, brand loyalty, and self-improvement as employees are empowered to take a more active role in their own development.

Intranet platforms enable businesses to provide different experiences for everyone within their networks while pulling the right conversations within context for each individual.

In addition to contextual knowledge sharing, intranets also offer a steady flow of insight garned from employees, spurring innovation and ultimately creating better business results and profitability.

8. Recognizing and Retaining Talent

Almost every medium to large organization has several key individuals who are extraordinary performers but are not supported. Their hard work or insight goes unnoticed. It is important that businesses are able to recognize such talent and key performers and identify what these individuals need to perform at their best.

Ideally, management will be able to determine what is missing and how to support their key performers with the right resources, tools and communication so that they are empowered to be their best.

Companies that fail to recognize their talent will often lose their talent over time ... as these individuals will go elsewhere to be appreciated and supported.

As a manager, director, or CEO of an organization, it is imperative that you are able to recognize who your key performers are, acknowledge their contribution and support them so that they can continue to be productive and also help you in identifying areas of weakness within the company.

When you use an intranet software platform, you are able to quickly identify key talent as information is shared across one platform and questions are answered by experts that you can then get in touch with and support as needed.

9. Deeper Engagement

Intranets enable you to go beyond swift non-verbal email communication and into having more meaningful conversations in a shared space.

These conversations in turn, drive trusted relationships.

As social intranet platforms reduce bottlenecks and speed up collaboration and access to relevant information, they also accelerate engagement among employees, partners, and vendors while lowering costs of communication and streamlining key business processes.

Adoption of intranet software is growing at an accelerated rate. According to a Forrester report, the industry is expected to grow from $900 million in 2011 to $6.4 billion by 2016 in the United States alone at the compound rate of 42% annually. Many intranets begin as internal networks and slowly expand to be client-facing as companies become more familiar with processes and refine their strategic goals.

In Summary

In summary, intranet software is here to stay, and companies that have an effective plan for adoption and clear goals can reap tremendous benefits.

In order to create an environment for productivity, the organization will need to offer a clear infrastructure such as rooms, spaces and forums defined within its network and integrate social practices such as the use of blog posts and activity streams.

The organization will also need to understand what data is relevant and how so that employees and all software users have access to relevant information when necessary.

Finally, the organization will also need to train employees how to use the platform, encourage social collaboration, and periodically monitor progress and make changes as necessary. Once these foundations are laid, the company is well positioned to leverage its social communication to build deeper bonds among employees, clients and vendors and ultimately, experience the success of a powerful and well implemented social business strategy.

 

A Guide to Understanding Knowledge Management

 

Tim Eisenhauer
Written by Tim Eisenhauer

Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.

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